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July 29, 2014

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municipal races:

Prominent Republicans back Democratic hopeful

Henderson City Council Race

Henderson City Council Race, seg. 2

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  • Henderson City Council Race, seg. 2
  • Henderson City Council Race, seg. 3
  • Henderson City Council Race, seg. 4
  • Henderson City Council Race, seg. 1

The municipal races are supposed to be nonpartisan.

But the nonpartisanship often comes with a wink.

Such is the case in a spat between a Henderson City Council candidate and the Nevada Republican Party.

Party leaders were outraged when some prominent Republican names appeared on a letter sent on behalf of candidate Kathleen Boutin.

The letter — signed by former Congressman Jon Porter and former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Sig Rogich — went to 5,000 households. It also includes endorsements from Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Heck, former state Sen. Sandra Tiffany and former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Boutin said it was sent by a group of supporters headed by Rogich.

Boutin, however, is a Democrat. She said she changed parties in 2006 because she does not support the Iraq war.

Sue Lowden, chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party, responded by sending her own letter to Republicans in Henderson. Opposition to the war “doesn’t explain why she would crawl with the likes of Harry Reid & Company,” the letter states. It also notes that candidates Bruce Cutler and Jim Dunn are Republicans.

The state Democratic and Republican parties both prominently mention candidates for municipal offices on their Web sites.

It’s not uncommon for the parties to give support — financial or otherwise — to municipal candidates. Many have used municipal seats as steppingstones to higher, partisan office.

For example, North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon will run as a Republican candidate for governor next year. Henderson Mayor James Gibson ran for governor as a Democrat in 2006.

•••

Boulder City Council candidate Joe Roche must deal with another campaign attack.

This time whispers focus on a lawsuit filed by his former employer.

American Shredding Inc., which terminated Roche in December, filed suit in Boulder City Justice Court for $2,140. The business claims Roche used company money to buy advertisements in a local newspaper without authorization and withdrew $340 using a company debit card without showing how he spent the money.

“I intend on counterclaiming and defending this,” Roche said. “The allegations are untrue.”

Meanwhile, voters are hearing about it through a series of automated calls, paid for by a group called BC Truth. BC Truth is registered to a condominium in Boulder City, according to the Secretary of State’s Web site.

Roche was the topic of other automated calls questioning his involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada.

On his Web site Roche claimed to be a member of the organization’s board of directors, although he resigned from the position in October. He since changed the Web site.

“I think there are bigger things we need to be dealing with,” Roche said. “There are real issues out there, like a city debt.”

Roche and eight other candidates are competing for two council seats in the April 7 primary.

•••

Lake Las Vegas finally has some good news.

The Ritz-Carlton in the high-end Henderson development has an owner.

Village Hospitality LLC of Providence, R.I., purchased the 349-room resort and spa.

In April 2008 Village Hotel Investors LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to stop foreclosure of the $103 million mortgage. Village Hotel had owned the 15-acre property since it opened in 2003.

Ron Boeddeker, owner of the California-based Transcontinental Corp., began creating Lake Las Vegas, which is 17 miles from the Strip, in 1990. But in the past couple of years the $7 billion development — and much of what’s in it — has faced financial difficulties.

In early 2008 Atalon Group, a firm that specializes in turning around financially troubled companies, acquired the development after Transcontinental Corp. defaulted on a $540 million loan. A $30 million golf course in the development has also been in bankruptcy court but remains open.

The Ritz never closed, and its new owners say it will remain open with no changes.

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